Formula 1

Verstappen claims first ever Melbourne pole as Russell bags front row start

Max Verstappen drew level with Fernando Alonso by taking his 22nd career pole position in qualifying for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix – while Mercedes’ George Russell qualified second and Sergio Perez ended up 20th after a Q1 crash.

Verstappen set a time of 1m 16.732s to take his first Australian Grand Prix pole position ahead of Russell, who was 0.236s off in Q3. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ended up third on the grid, 0.372s off the pace, while Fernando Alonso was 0.407s off the pace in P4.

Carlos Sainz qualified fifth for Ferrari in front of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, while Charles Leclerc struggled on the way to P7.

Yellow flags flew in Q1 – where the official risk of rain was 90% – as Logan Sargeant went off track, just before Perez brought out red flags by locking up and beaching his Red Bull in the Turn 3 gravel having struggled throughout FP3. Conditions stayed dry and Verstappen set the fastest time in Q1 ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.



1  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:16.732
2  George RUSSELL Mercedes 1:16.968
3  Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 1:17.104
4  Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin 1:17.139
5  Carlos SAINZ Ferrari 1:17.270

Categories: Formula 1, Starting Line-Up

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